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Creativity quotes from famous creativity theorists
To live is to have problems and to solve problems is to grow intellectually.
Joy Paul Guilford (March 7, 1897– November 26, 1987), American psychologist
Creative thinking is the process of sensing gaps or disturbing, missing elements; forming ideas or hypotheses concerning them; testing these hypotheses; and communicating the results, possibly modifying and retesting the hypotheses.
Ellis Paul Torrance (October 8, 1915 – July 12, 2003), American psychologist
One of the most powerful wellsprings of creative energy, outstanding accomplishment, and self-fulfillment seems to be falling in love with something – your dreams, your image of the future.
Ellis Paul Torrance
Creative people: 1, have their energy field accessible; 2, have the ability to tap and release unconscious and preconscious thought; 3, are able to withstand being thought of as abnormal or eccentric; 4, are more sensitive; 5, have a richer fantasy life and greater involvement in daydreaming; 6, are enthusiastic and impulsive; 7, show signs of synaesthesia (e.g., tasting color, seeing sound, hearing smells, etc.); 8, show different brain wave patterns than the less creative, especially during creative activity; 9, when confronted with novelty of design, music, or ideas, they get excitied and involved (less creative people get suspicious and hostile); 10, when given a new solution to a problem, they get enthused, suggest other ideas, overlook details and problems (less creative students analyze the defects rather than explore potentials.”
Ellis Paul Torrance and Laura K. Hall
The creative person is more primitive and more cultured, more destructive and more constructive, crazier and saner, than the average person.
Frank Barron (June 17, 1922 – October 6, 2002), American psychologist
Never take a person’s dignity: it is worth everything to them, and nothing to you.
The creative individual not only respects the irrational in himself, but also courts the most promising source of novelty in his own thought.
The sorcery and charm of imagination, and the power it gives to the individual to transform his world into a new world of order and delight, makes it one of the most treasured of all human capacities.
…creativity is a quest for meaning. It is an attempt to penetrate the mystery of the self, and perhaps the even greater mystery of Being.
It was a powerful motive to create meaning and to leave a testament of the meaning which that individual found in the world, and in himself in relation to the world.
…the desire to create one’s own universe of meaning, personally defined.
So our finding was that intuition, linked with some degree of introversion, was related to creativity.
Creative people are especially observant, and they value accurate observation (telling themselves the truth) more than other people do.
Creative subjects, sought to find a way to take something quite complex and, in it, find a simple order. This is something like the definition of elegance in mathematical explanation. And the same, I think, probably applies to a work of art. So that frequently the final product or explanation is amazingly simple but is based on an extremely complex substrate of empirical or individual observations.
Their universe is thus more complex, and in addition, they usually lead more complex lives, seeking tension in the interest of the pleasure they obtain upon its discharge.
the creative subjects maintained their independence and expressed the correct opinion, rejecting the consensus.
I think there’s an increase in complexity and openness, simply as a result of the perception of a wider range of stimuli in quite common sensory modalities. Here I’m thinking of such things as increased vividness of color, enhanced perception of detail, greater acuteness in listening to music.
The evolutionary task, in the individual and in the species, is to create an ego that is itself capable of including the states of consciousness we now call paranormal… the ego already possessed of considerable scope is more likely to be able to use such an experience further to grow and enlarge itself…
All creation is collaboration.
Apparently contradictory principles of action, thought, and feeling, which usually must be sacrifice done to the other, are instead expressed fully in one sequence, the dialectic leading at special moments to an unusual integration.
The problem of creativity is beset with mysticism, confused definitions, value judgments, psychoanalytic admonitions, and the crushing weight of philosophical speculation dating from ancient times.
Albert Rothenberg (born 1930), American psychiatrist, author of the theory of ”Janusian Thinking”
Even without success, creative persons find joy in a job well done. Learning for its own sake is rewarding.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (born September 29, 1934), American psychologist
Studying creativity is not an elite distraction, but provides one of the most exciting models for living.
The pursuit of a creative problem is rarely easy. In fact, in order to be enjoyable it should be hard, and of course so it is, almost by definition.
Creativity is any act, idea, or product that changes an existing domain, or that transforms an existing domain into a new one…What counts is whether the novelty he or she produces is accepted for inclusion in the domain.
When there are no external demands, entropy kicks in, and unless we understand what is happening, it takes over our body and our mind. We are generally torn between two opposite sets of instructions programmed into the brain: the least-effort imperative on one side, and the claims of creativity on the other.
Another skill creative individuals develop: a personal approach, an internal model that allows them to put the problem into a manageable content.
Creative individuals tend to be smart, yet also naïve at the same time… Creative individuals have a combination of playfulness and discipline, or responsibility and irresponsibility.
Creativity is a central source of meaning in our lives…most of the things that are interesting, important, and human are the results of creativity…when we are involved in it, we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of life.
Creativity results from the interaction of a system composed of three elements: a culture that contains symbolic rules, a person who brings novelty into the symbolic domain, and a field of experts who recognise and validate the innovation.
And it has become a kind of a truism in the study of creativity that you can’t be creating anything with less than 10 years of technical knowledge immersion in a particular field.
Creativity is a puzzle, a paradox, some say a mystery. Inventors, scientists, and artists rarely know how their ideas arise. They mention intuition, but cannot say how it works. Most psychologists cannot tell us much about it either. What’s more, many people assume that there will never be a scientific theory of creativity–for how could science possibly explain fundamental novelties? As if all this were not daunting enough, the apparent unpredictability of creativity seems to outlaw any systemic explanation whether scientific or historical.
Margaret Boden (born November, 26, 1936), English pschologist, computer scientist
Creativity denotes a person’s capacity to produce new or original ideas, insights, inventions, or artistic products, which are accepted by experts as being of scientific, aesthetic, social, or technical value.
Creativity begins with an affinity for something. It’s like falling in love.
Howard Gardner (born July 11, 1943), American psychologist
My belief in why America has been doing so well up to now is that we have been propelled by our immigrants and our encouragement of technical innovation and, indeed, creativity across the board.
I believe that the brain has evolved over millions of years to be responsive to different kinds of content in the world. Language content, musical content, spatial content, numerical content, etc.
If I know you’re very good in music, I can predict with just about zero accuracy whether you’re going to be good or bad in other things.
Anything that is worth teaching can be presented in many different ways. These multiple ways can make use of our multiple intelligences.
You can’t be creative unless you come up with something that hasn’t been done before. The idea also has to work, or be adaptive or be functional in some way; it has to meet some criteria of usefulness.
Dean Keith Simonton ((born January 27, 1948), American psychologist
At the little-c level, creativity implies basic functionality. And at the big-C level, it’s something that we give Pulitzer and Nobel Prizes for.
Dean Keith Simonton
The three parts of the theory are analytical ability, the ability to analyze things to judge, to criticize. Creative, the ability to create, to invent and discover and practical, the ability to apply and use what you know.
Robert Sternberg (born December 8, 1949), American psychologist
And in order to succeed in later life, you need creative skills because look at how fast the world is changing.
Creativity is the generation and initial development of new, useful ideas. Innovation is the successful implementation of those ideas in an organization. Thus, no innovation is possible without the creative processes that mark the front end of the process: identifying important problems and opportunities, gathering relevant information, generating new ideas, and exploring the validity of those ideas.
Teresa Amabile (born 1950), American psychologist
To be creative, an idea must also be appropriate – useful and actionable. It must somehow influence the way business gets done by improving a product, for instance, or by opening up a new way to approach a process.
The best way to help people to maximize their creative potential is to allow them to do something they love.
Creativity depends on a number of things: experience, including knowledge and technical skills; talent; an ability to think in new ways; and the capacity to push through uncreative dry spells.
The desire to do something because you find it deeply satisfying and personally challenging inspires the highest levels of creativity, whether it’s in the arts, sciences, or business.
True creativity is impossible without some measure of passion.
People will be most creative when they feel motivated primarily by the interest, enjoyment, satisfaction and challenge of the work itself.
Over the course of the last decade, however, we seem to have reached a general agreement that creativity involves the production of novel, useful products.
Michael Mumford, American psychologist
…creative” refers to novel products of value, as in “The airplane was a creative invention.” “Creative” also refers to the person who produces the work, as in, ?Picasso was creative.” “Creativity,” then refers both to the capacity to produce such works, as in “How can we foster our employees’ creativity?” and to the activity of generating such products, as in “Creativity requires hard work.”
Robert W. Weisberg, American psychologist
All who study creativity agree that for something to be creative, it is not enough for it to be novel: it must have value, or be appropriate to the cognitive demands of the situation.
Robert W. Weisberg, American psychologist
If you are doing something that requires you be creative or be in a think tank, you want to be in a place with good mood.
Adam Anderson, American psychologist
Creativity challenges the status quo.
Ruth Richards, American psychologist, researcher on creativity in daily life
Our creativity is a fundamental survival capacity. Not only does it help us stay alive, it helps us learn what we are living for. Our human creativity must be taken seriously.
Creativity is for us all – it’s about you, me, and about everyday life. It is about the abundant originality we manifest, and our flexible improvisations, whether teaching a class, raising our kids, fixing the car, helping a client, landscaping the yard, planning a benefit, or trying to figure out why we’re on earth.
Our everyday creativity is not only good for us, it’s also one of the most powerful capacities we have, bringing us alive in each moment, affecting our health and well-being, offering richness and alternatives in what we do, and helping move us further in our creative and personal development.